You need one. Bankruptcy law is complex. As I said, it's not easy keeping up. While it is perfectly legal for you to represent yourself, it would probably be one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make. The Bankruptcy Court has created a special guide for pro se (Latin meaning "for oneself") filers, which you can read by visiting http://www.gasb.uscourts.gov (Related Sites/Bankruptcy Basics) or http://www.scb.uscourts.gov/ (Parties Without an Attorney). These sites also contain links to lawyer referral services and to other resources for consumers thinking about bankruptcy.
Consumers seeking free advice can visit the American Bankruptcy Institute's online pro bono resource locator at probono.abiworld.org.
Another way to find a competent bankruptcy attorney is through the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), an organization of which I have been a long-standing member. Click on the Attorney Finder link and follow the instructions to locate a qualified bankruptcy attorney near you.
There are no set legal fees for bankruptcy. Subject to bankruptcy court approval, bankruptcy lawyers can charge whatever they want. You can expect legal fees for a Chapter 7 case to be in the range of $750 to $2,500, and fees for a Chapter 13 to be $3,000 or more in some cases, especially if the case involves a business or is otherwise complicated. If you hire a lawyer to rescue a case that you tried to file yourself, you should expect to pay more. Likewise, if you retain a lawyer shortly before a scheduled foreclosure sale, you should expect the fees to be higher because your lawyer will have to drop other work in order to focus on your emergency. As is often the case, it pays to plan ahead!
Some lawyers may require you to pay the legal fees for a Chapter 7 case in full prior to filing.
On the other hand, many lawyers will let you pay all or a portion of their legal fees for a Chapter 13 case through your plan along with your other debts. In other words, a portion of your monthly plan payments will be paid to your lawyer.
Lee Ringler is a debt relief agency proudly designated by the US Congress and the President of the United States. Lee has been helping people find solutions to their debt problems, including, where appropriate, getting out of debt under the federal bankruptcy laws for over 20 years in both Georgia and South Carolina. We work under Title 11 of the United States Code to assist you in dealing with your debt. Our office is located at 808 Greene Street, Suite 200, Augusta, GA 30901. This site is intended for marketing material only and is not a substitute for the advice of competent counsel before undertaking any legal course of action. No attorney-client relationship is formed by the viewing of this site, or the request or receipt of any information by means of it.
Serving Georgia Cities and Counties: Augusta, Martinez, Evans, Thomson, Waynesboro, Louisville, Lincolnton, Washington and Columbia County, Burke County, McDuffie County, Jefferson County, Warren County, Wilkes County, Lincoln County, Glascock County, Richmond County, Taliaferro County, and Fort Gordon Military Reservation. We also service South Carolina Cities and Counties in Bankruptcy cases only: Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg, Edgefield, North Augusta, Greenwood, Columbia, and Richland County, Aiken County, Edgefield County, Greenwood County, Lexington County, and Saluda County.
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